The Apple iMac is a beautiful device, but it can never be called ergonomic. You can't rotate the display, rotate it 90 degrees, or even raise and lower it to a more convenient height. However, this could soon change following a recently granted patent.
The patent shows that Apple is considering an iMac with a display that can do a variety of "ergonomic adjustments". This alone can convince many people to buy a new iMac, as it is not uncommon right now for iMac users to prop their computers on a pile of books to get them to a comfortable height.
However, this isn't just an iMac that can be rotated as needed. In typical Apple fashion, the patent goes much further and describes a computer that can adjust its position and orientation based on the registered person without the user lifting a finger.
When a person first signs in, the iMac reads a settings file for that particular user and automatically makes ergonomic adjustments that are appropriate for that person. When another user logs on to the same iMac, they adapt to their needs. And if that second person sits down at the iMac while the first user is logged in, the computer will only change its position if the logged in user knows it, which is determined by facial recognition. No manual input would be required other than creating the initial settings files.
That could save users a lot of uncertainty. If you've ever adjusted a monitor to be “just right” and just someone else changing its position, you know how difficult it can be to make things the way they used to be. Using a file saved on the computer, this iMac concept has precise measurements on which to base its movements, so you get the perfect setup every time.
The patent was filed by Apple in September 2017, but has only just been granted. Given this timeframe, Apple could be well on its way to implementing this automatic ergonomic solution in future iMacs so we might not have to wait long to see it in action. Rumors suggest that the iMac may undergo a major overhaul at some point in the coming months – could this new system make an appearance?
It is possible, but since this is a patent, there is still a good chance it will never see the light of day. Apple patents many ideas that it never puts into practice to test new concepts. However, we hope this is an idea that Apple decides to give the green light to.